Start-up India, a vehicle for youth

The best thing about the Start-up India programme, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is not Rs 10,000 crore earmarked for helping budding entrepreneurs or other tax incentives for them, but the kind of youth energy that it seeks to unleash. In fact, this is the only way forward if we have to create 20 million jobs a year for a young population which is not only aspiring but also restless enough to seek opportunities for a better life.
Thanks to the emergence of some poster boys in the e-commerce start-ups, patronised
by well-known global funds, a lot more of the graduates from IITs and IIMs want to give it a go at their own thing rather than walking away with big, fat packages at campus recruitments. It also goes to the credit of promoters of ventures such as Paytm, Olacabs, Uber, Oyo Room, Snapdeal and Flipkart that they pursued their businesses solving day-to-day problems of middle-class tech-savvy people willing to try out new things enabled by technology. With the consumers lapping up new offerings on e-commerce without bothering too much for the brick and mortar brands, several of the start-ups have become household names, giving jitters to those in the comfort zones of well-established brands. 

That was the first phase of the Indian start-ups, marked by some amount of hype and unrealistic valuations which come naturally with a few success stories. But this bunch of geeks-turned young icons has shown an immense potential lying unused. The government, grappling with an economic slowdown, has done the right thing to unveil a high-pitch programme, offering a series of measures for helping the youth to launch themselves in a global eco-system. Steps like ease of getting patents at a much lesser cost would yield to innovative businesses, well beyond the fancy world of apps and e-commerce. Tax exemptions, especially from the capital gains, for raising the seed money are well thought out ideas along with commitments for quick registration of start-ups. It is also well-recognised that each and every new venture cannot be a grand success and some may fall by the wayside. In the regulated corporate structure, exit from an incorporated entity can take years, discouraging entrepreneurs in the first place itself. Thankfully, the exit option is being incorporated in the scheme, maybe through an early passage of the pending Bankruptcy law. Likewise, the self-certification regime should remove a major irritant, though states and local bodies have to be taken on board.

Since the programme is considered as the brain-child of the prime minister, all major wings of the government from Finance, MSME, Corporate Affairs to HRD ministries have thrown their weight behind it.

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